Skip to main content


M Cecil Smith, PhD


West Virginia University
College of Education and Human Services
Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development

Office: 509E Allen Hall
Phone: 304-293-2174

Currently, Professor Smith is conducting projects that are secondary analyses of large scale data sets. His research team is investigating correlates of adults’ literacy skills using data from the 2013 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, an OECD program.

He recently collaborated with colleagues at Eastern Michigan University and the University of South Carolina), analyzing data from a 2015 national survey of associate deans in colleges of education, business, nursing, and liberal arts and sciences. The survey examines the roles, responsibilities, preparation, and administrative career preparation of associate deans.

Professor Smith has also directed or co-directed two NSF grant-funded research projects. The first was a study of students' subjective experiences during instruction in high school science classrooms. This project, called Science-in-the-Moment, was funded by a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation (2008-11). The second project was devoted to developing and testing the efficacy of an online cognitive tutor, REsearchMentor©. This tutorial was designed to help education and applied social sciences students learn research methods (for thesis and dissertation research). REsearchMentor© was funded by a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation (2008-11). Several presentations and publications resulted from these NSF projects.


M Cecil Smith has been appointed as editor of the 2020 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education, a project of the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE). Every ten years since the 1930s, AAACE has produced an edited handbook that addresses contemporary issues, and research and practice in the field of adult and continuing education.

Smith is a member of the first five-person editorial team in the 90-year history of AAACE’s decennial Handbook. It is a highly diverse group of editors, consisting of U.S. and international scholars whose individual disciplines – adult education, human resource development, educational psychology, and economic and workforce development—represent much of the philosophical, theoretical, and methodological diversity of AAACE itself. Professor Smith, a nationally known expert on adults’ literacy skills and practices, has previously edited five books and handbooks on adult literacy, adult learning and development, and teaching educational psychology.

The editors plan to develop a handbook for the field that will emphasize emerging theoretical perspectives, philosophies of practice, broad interdisciplinary, epistemological, and methodological approaches to adult and continuing education. Among the chapters will be those that identify and describe adult learner populations that have been previously invisible, unexamined, or marginalized by policymakers and educators, including homeless adults and migrant populations.

Call for chapter proposals Download Curriculum Vitae

Professor Smith is editor of the journal, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development.